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Helium: The Disappearing Element

  • Reviews the difference between cosmic helium, which represents around a quarter of all matter in the Universe, and Earthly helium, which is extremely rare and difficult to find
  • Underscores how rare helium is and suggests strategies on how to conserve this valuable resource
  • Highlights the important uses for helium and why it is a critical component in so many industries and scientific endeavors

Series: SpringerBriefs in Earth Sciences

By: Wheeler M "Bo" Sears, Jr.(Author)

138 pages,


Paperback | Mar 2015 | #222660 | ISBN-13: 9783319151229
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £44.99 $58/€50 approx

About this book

The subject of the book is helium, the element, and its use in myriad applications including MRI machines, particle accelerators, space telescopes, and of course balloons and blimps. It was at the birth of our Universe, or the Big Bang, where the majority of cosmic helium was created; and stellar helium production continues. Although helium is the second most abundant element in the Universe, it is actually quite rare here on Earth and only exists because of radioactive elements deep within the Earth. Helium: The Disappearing Element includes a detailed history of the discovery of helium, of the commercial industry built around it, how the helium we actually encounter is produced within the Earth, and the state of the helium industry today. The gas that most people associate with birthday party balloons is running out. "Who cares?" you might ask. Well, without helium, MRI machines could not function, rockets could not go into space, particle accelerators such as those used by CERN could not operate, fiber optic cables would not exist, and semiconductor chips could not be made...the list goes on and on.


- Introduction
- What is Helium?
- Where Does Helium Come From?
- Foundations of Discovery
- Helium on Earth
- The Helium Industry
- Helium Today

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Wheeler M. "Bo" Sears, Jr.'s entire working career has been involved with oil, gas, and helium exploration. Founder and CEO of Inter-American Helium Corporation and now President of the Company's new subsidiary, Weil Helium, his focus over the past ten years has been primarily helium exploration centering on deposits across the mid-continent region of the United States. Weil Helium is the only company in the world involved in helium "exploration" as a primary pursuit; traditionally, helium has been produced as a secondary or tertiary bi-product of natural gas production. On July 11, 2013, Wheeler testified before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources on the topic of "America's Helium Supply: Options for Producing more Helium from Federal Lands."

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